Last year the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Zoo guests, friends, and followers celebrated the amazing effort that went into “Gladys” the gorilla’s surrogacy project. This work demonstrated the great lengths zoos will go to for their animals as well as the fantastic collaboration between institutions to do what is right and in the best interest of the animal. This collaboration is the reason the Cincinnati Zoo selected the name Gladys – she was named after the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas, where she was born. Staff is Brownsville selflessly transferred the orphaned one month old baby to Cincinnati because it was best for her. Read previous post about Gladys’ name…
With the birth of “Asha’s” #BabyGorilla on August 4th, we celebrate the even bigger picture of wild gorilla conservation. Along with all the great work done for gorillas in the North America, the Cincinnati Zoo has participated in wild gorilla conversation for almost 20 years. The Zoo’s primary focus has been partnering with the Nouabale Ndoki Project (NNP) in the Republic of Congo. The NNP includes the Mbeli Bai Study, the longest running study of the critically endangered wild western lowland gorilla. Another important part of this work includes an area called Mondika (pronounced Mondeeka). Here, gorillas are habituated for up close research and for eco tourism. The Cincinnati Zoo recently helped facilitate the habitation of a second group of gorillas in Mondika and went into a three year agreement to continue the support, which includes habituating a third group. Habituation is a very important part of the operation, providing keen insight into up close gorilla behavior while leaving people with the inspirational experience of seeing these magnificent animals in their natural habitats.
Part of the Cincinnati Zoo’s mission includes inspiring people with wildlife every day and what’s more inspiring than Asha’s new baby? As we celebrated the great, collaborative, work done in zoos with the name Gladys, we now celebrate wild gorillas and our efforts to help save them by naming Asha’s new baby “Mondika” . If the baby turns out to be a boy, his nickname will be “Mondo”. If the baby is a girl, her nickname will be “Mona”. We’re really looking forward to watching our little gorilla ambassador grow up and welcome the opportunity to share stories from the wild through little Mondika for many years to come. Stay tuned for the big “Mondo or Mona” announcement as soon as Asha allows us to have a peek!
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